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i-maritime Newsletter

Shipping Ministry seeks „different‟ treatment for port land; will move Cabinet - 2011-11-07

With major ports stung by the Cabinet Secretariat‟s decision asking them to get Cabinet approval for every land sale or lease, the Shipping Ministry has decided to move the Cabinet seeking a “different treatment for port land”. “Major ports give out land on short-term lease of below one year in the custom-bound areas for several operations….all such routine work is badly hit,” a Government source told Business Line. For instance, when a large cargo consignment of, say, 50,000 tonnes, arrives at a port, it is allotted storage area on licence basis for as low as seven to 60 days. Major ports are at a loss on how to handle such situations. “We are facing problems in renewing licences for many such areas – that have expired since March,” said a source from a port. The Shipping Ministry has already raised the issue with the Cabinet Secretariat and the Planning Commission. “Now, the Ministry is almost ready to move the Cabinet with the proposal. Port land has to be handled differently,” said a source. Incidentally, the Indian Railways have also been hit because of this move and are seeking respite.
The Railway Ministry has also decided to move the Cabinet seeking a separate
treatment for allocating land used for rail projects, or last mile rail links. There are thousands of pending proposals from public and private sector agencies across sectors, including coal, steel, mining, cement, fertiliser, ports and container train operators, all of which need to access railway land for connecting their depots with the Indian Railway network. In March, following a series of scams involving sale of Government land, the Cabinet Secretariat had asked all Ministries to seek specific approval of the Cabinet in every case of sale or long-term lease of land belonging to the Government or Government-controlled statutory authorities.

Source: Hindu Business Line